Drink Smarter (Education Through Consumption)

Do you want to learn more about beer?  Do you want to do a guided personal or corporate tasting?

Vancouver now has a way to do this in Drink Smarter.

Paul Pyne is a certified Cicerone and a craft beer consultant.  Not only is he a Cicerone but he is also an Industry Professional and an Instructor in craft beer courses.

If you are wanting to get into craft beer he can do a guided tasting of some good entry level beers.  He can also do very specialized tastings be it to a certain style, Country or Theme.  These tastings are not limited to private events either you can also have these tasting for your company.  Recently I was invited out to a specialized tasting with a few of my industry counterparts.  Seeing as we are not just your average consumer Paul set us up with some seriously cool beers.

I have lost my notes of the beers we tasted but the following are what we tried.

Gulden Draak – 2016 Limited Edition Aged in Whisky Barrels 03/2016.
Brekeriet – Sourley Wine (Sour Barley Wine)
Hornbeer – Caribbean Rumstout
Straffe Hendrik – Heritage 2015 Quadrupel a Armagnac Oak Aged Ale
Le Trou du Diable – L’Ours

This was one of the best tastings I have every been to.  The beers were amazing and Paul had done a tone of research about the breweries and the beers themselves.  I would highly recommend checking out one of this tastings or hiring him for a private tasting and education session. 




Soirée Dieu Du Ciel – Steel Toad Brewpub

On February 25th, 2017 UnTapped Craft Imports and Steel Toad Brewpub in Vancouver hosted the Soirée Dieu Du Ciel.  When you hold a party with this epic Quebec brewery and the master brewer Jean Francois in attendance you know you are in for a treat.


The $40 ticket got you entry into the event between 2pm and 5pm and that included a commemorative glass and 4 beer tokens.  The real star of the show was the rare beer that have not been seen in British Columbia as of yet.  These beers included the following:

Moralité (American IPA)
Ultra Mosaika (Ultra Mosaic Pale Ale)
Hélium (Helles Lager)
L’Austérité (American Barleywine)
Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout)
Hérétique Blonde
Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer)
Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale)
Isseki Nicho Pinot 2015 (Imperial Black Saison aged in Pinot Noir Barrels)
Exorciste Mûres 2015 (Blackberry Sour Whete)
Péché Véniel 2015 (coffee Stout)

Solstice D’Hiver Barrel Aged
Peche Mortel Barrel Aged

This was the ultimate introduction to the beers of Dieu Du Ciel!  I have never had a bad beer from this brewery but these are the crème de la crème from them.  Why not get to know a brewery with their absolute bests?

With great events comes great people usually.  Here are my shots as well as some from Whats Brewing and Vine & Hops Wine and Craft Beer Tours.  It was great to meet Jean Francois the Master Brewer and chat with him about beer.

My absolute favourites from this event include the Grande Noirceur 2015 (Imperial Stout), Hérétique Obscura (Funky Black Beer) and the absolute winner the Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac (Abbey-Style Brown Ale). 

If you are not familiar with this brewery yet it is time to get familiar.  Their beer is available at liquor stores on the West Coast and well worth picking up.  This is truly one of the best breweries in Canada.


Soirée Dieu Du Ciel (beer list) – Steel Toad Brewpub

Not only is Steel Toad Brewpub hosting a great event with the Soirée Dieu Du Ciel that will bring the founder and master brewer Jean Francois Gravel to Vancouver to discuss his beer but they will be putting some rare beers on tap that have never been seen in this province.


The event Runs from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday February 25th, 2017 and tickets go for $40.  The ticket includes a commemorative glass and 4 beer tokens.

Down to brass tax.  Here is the list of 10 of 12 beers on tap and the three beers in bottles.

Ultra Mosaika
Grande Noirceur 2015
Hérétique Blonde
Hérétique Obscura
Rigor Mortis Brandy/Cognac
Isseki Nicho Pinot 2015
Exorciste Mûres 2015

Solstice D’Hiver Barrel Aged
Peche Mortel Barrel Aged

Check out the facebook event page.

Purchase your ticket here with Eventbrite.

Soirée Dieu Du Ciel (tickets on sale now) – Steel Toad Brewpub

Dieu Du Ciel is a highly celebrated Quebec brewery as we all know in BC but now we will have a chance to try a bunch of rare beers here in Vancouver. The event takes place on September 25th 2017 between 2pm and 5pm. 

The event is being held at Steel Toad Brewpub in the Brewery Creek neighborhood of Vancouver. Tickets are $40 and include a commemorative glass and 4 beer tokens. Extra tokens can be purchased at the event. 

The founder and master brewer will be on hand to meet and discuss the beer. 

They will be bringing 12 plus beer that have never been available in BC before. Cheers for Untapped, Steel Toad Brewpub and Dieu Du Ciel for putting on this event. I hope to see you there. 

Purchase your tickets here!


Mandarin & Hops Get Fresh (WinterGlow IPA Launch) – Stanley Park Brewing

Stanley Park Brewing has launched their latest beer in the WinterGlow IPA.  For the launch they held an event at the Stanley Park Pavilion inside Stanley Park.


The event started at 6:30pm where they started us off with a bottle of WinterGlow.  For the first half hour we were treated to WinterGlow and a few other beers and a sample or two of a duck canape.

The WinterGlow IPA pours a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of biscuit malts, mild hops and a hint of mandarin ornages.  The flavour is of Biscuit malts, mandarin orange rind, mild mandarin orange, citrus and hops bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 6.4% with an IBU of 55.  Don’t let the Mandarin oranges scare you as they add a nice note of orange while the IPA characteristics rule the day.


Once the welcome tasting was done everyone was welcomed into the dining hall.  Once everyone was seated we were treated to a family style beer dinner.  Share plates of each dish were set out on the table.  The dinner started with with two salads then followed with 5 entrees and one dessert.

Salad Courses

Watermelon Salad
Kalamata olives, pickled onion, mint, arugulaPaired with Noble Pislner

Broccoli & Grape Slaw
Cheddar, sour cream dressing
Paired with WinterGlow IPA


The Watermelon Salad and the Pilsner both were very light and refreshing.  The mild hops in the pilsner are a nice accent to the flavour of the salad.  The WinterGlow IPA had a nice earthiness that worked with the Broccoli Slaw but the hops bitterness was a bit of a off putting for the pairing.  The Pilsner seemed to be a better pairing for the group I was sitting with.

Once the salad course was done the entrees started to come.

BBQ Chicken Legs
burnt & sticky
Paired with Windstorm Pale Ale

Steelhead En Papillote
SPB Mandarin IPA, bergamot, lemon, dill
Paired with WinterGlow IPA

Roasted Baby Potatoes
sea salt, olive oil
Paired with Foghorn IBA

Paired with Noble Pilsner

winterglowlaunch-020 winterglowlaunch-021

Starting with the Chicken Leg the flavour was awesome!  The chicken was sweet and sticky and I found the Windstorm kind of got lost in the sweetness.  The WinterGlow on the other hand was a great pairing with the mandarin orange and the hops bitterness both complimenting the meat.  The Steelhead was tasty but mild.  The IPA was a bold pairing for a mild fish but it worked.  The Roasted Potatoes were the best pairing of all 4 entrees.  The root vegetable pairs amazingly with an earth beer like the Foghorn.  The final of the 4 was the Ratatouille that had a mild peppery note to the beer.  The mild hops bitterness helps to accentuate the pepper in the food.


Grapefruit Pana Cotta
pistachio crumble
Paired with Windtorm Pale Ale


The big grapefruit citrus in the dessert really matched up with the fruitiness of the Pale Ale.  I don’t usually get overly excited about desserts but this one was super tasty!

Stanley Park Brewing really knows how to throw a party!  I look forward to the next launch party they hold.  But until then make sure to pick up some of the WinterGlow IPA as it is quite tasty!